Managing big data: Some tips for Consistency

It’s no secret that big data is an up-and-coming player in today’s high technology sector. As businesses and internet connections grow, more and more of the tech sector is consumed by the need to manage huge amounts of information. After all, you can learn a lot about your customer base by studying their habits, and in order to do that, you have to crunch the numbers–sometimes billions of them. The result? Big data.

Of course, there are a few things you should keep in mind when managing databases, especially when they contain large amounts of information. The first, and perhaps the most important, is backups.

In a lot of ways, big data systems aren’t that much different than traditional ones. For example, any time you’re even thinking about doing a backup, your team needs to have a disaster recovery plan in place. Even if the data is easily recoverable, outages can cost huge amounts of time and money. Make sure you know how to get back up and running quickly after a disaster. Have your contingency plan written down, and make sure all of your staff is trained on it, even if they might not be involved with the actual recovery.

Second to this, and probably just as important, is redundancy. A lot of damages can be mitigated by making systems redundant. This can be done in a variety of ways, whether it’s having data backed up to multiple places or through load balancing. It might be worth setting up your systems to, say, offload to a secondary processor if the first one fails, and you’ll save yourself a lot of headache in the long run.

Don’t wait to find out if a simple outage has the potential to take out your system, either: test frequently, and have both active and passive monitoring in place. Make sure your tech team checks both monitoring systems frequently, and that someone is on top of logs to make sure they stay up to date.

A third and equally vital piece is making sure that everyone responsible for your system is on the same page. Procedures for namespaces, management, and other important system administration tasks should be easily available to all users to look at whenever they need to. Your SAs shouldn’t be afraid to ask you questions about the systems they’re using, either. Make sure there’s active dialogue on all levels of management, no matter how low or high-up they are to ensure that everyone along the chain of command does tasks in a similar manner.

These are only a few things you can do to help your team run your big data cluster effectively. Remember, as the volume of web traffic grows, so does the volume of information that businesses have to keep track of. The ability to think on your feet and effectively manage data clusters is a skill that will only become more important as the tech sector grows. So familiarize yourself, and keep in mind these tips for successful cluster management.

For more information on how you can manage your big data cluster, contact us today.

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